Monday, February 15, 2010

Transubstantiation Question II

Alan, aka Rhology, and I have been going round and round on the topic of Transubstantiation and his allegation that the teaching is Monophysite.   I believe I've already made a good case, but let us try again and be very thorough about it...
Scott wrote: Which article are you referring to now? 
Alan responds:  The blogpost. THe only one I've written on this topic.
Fine, so let us take a look at your blogpost in detail:


Is transubstantiation a Monophysite doctrine?
CrimsonCatholic and Perry Robinson participated a few months ago in a fairly technical but somewhat interesting discussion at David Waltz's blog.
CrimsonCatholic made a very interesting statement:

The key feature of Chalcedonian theology is that Christ's nature is exactly the same as ours, so what happens to the human nature in Christ happens to everyone who is "in Christ Jesus" (to use St. Paul's term) by grace, including the sharing of the divine glory.
Alan continues:  I'd like to ask a few questions, if we're going to take this consistently with the rest of our theology.
So Christ's nature if exactly the same as mine. My nature is human. Part of being human (as opposed to being divine) is to be limited to a particular physical location at any one time, is it not? My body cannot be in more than one place at any one time. That's obvious.
Now, Christ Himself, at the time of His Incarnation, took upon Himself a human nature and a physical body. At the time of His Resurrection, His body became glorified and immortal; He doesn't necessarily have blood anymore, but He retains flesh and physical tangibility, among other properties. He can perhaps walk through walls, or perhaps not;John 20 simply says, "when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be with you.'" Maybe He created a key and let Himself in; maybe He knocked and they let Him in; maybe He passed through the door via "teleportation"; the text does not tell us. Obviously He can perform miracles such as walking on water and perhaps passing through walls, disappearing right in front of two disciples at dinnertime on the road to Emmaus, etc, but we never see Christ in more than one place at any one time.

A key point missed here by Alan is the fact that though the Human Nature of Christ is exactly like ours, it is also inseparable from the Divine Nature.   Alan seems to forget that the Divine Nature of Christ affected His Human Nature too, especially where He walked on water (see John 6:16-21).  His Divine Nature clearly can and did affect His Human Nature!  Not only that, in Matthew's account St. Peter also gets out of the boat and walks on water - Jesus is affecting St. Peter's human nature!  The last I checked, in "nature" the surface tension of water cannot support the human body (See Matthew 14:22-33)

Interestingly enough, just previous to the walking on water incident in John 6, Jesus prefigures the Eucharist in the feeding of the 5000 from two fishes and 5 loaves of bread (see John 6:5-14).  Then Jesus goes up into the mountains and the Apostles head out across the sea in their boat.  While about half way across the sea, they encounter a storm and low and behold, Jesus is walking on the water!  He climbs into the boat and not only does the storm end, they are immediately at their destination!  Jesus is affecting physical elements all around Him - including His own body!  The rest of John 6 is the Eucharistic treatise wherein Jesus commands, multiple times, that we are to eat His body and drink His blood or we have no life in us!   The objective reader here can surely see that John 6 is all about the Eucharist from start to finish!  Of course, those who close their eyes to the truth and do not want to see this in a Catholic light will come up with all sorts of rationalizations as to why John 6 is not about the Eucharist at all - but a plain reading of the text betrays their arguments.

Back to Alan's point - he is positing that because the Eucharist is multi-locational that fact denies the Human Nature of Christ - but does it really?  I can see why he makes this argument, but then He also limits the Divine Nature of Christ the ability to multi-locate His body.

In later responses Alan asks "Was Jesus ever in multiple locations at one time as recorded by Scripture?"  To which I have provided the scenario of the Centurion who sought Jesus' help for his dying servant.   Jesus did not go with him, yet knew exactly who this servant was and healed him that very hour (see Luke 7:1-10).

Next Alan quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) - let us look at these passages:
CCC 1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.

1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."

1379 The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. 

1412 The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: "This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . ."

1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).
Now, I'm not real sure why Alan felt the need to post these - other than to show that Catholics DO believe in Transubstantiation - no one here is denying that!  But let us progress...

On any given Sunday, or really most any day of the week, Mass is performed at thousands of churches across the globe. On any given Sunday morning, to be sure, the Eucharistic host is transubstantiated in multiple locations, at the same time. How well does this match with the conception of Christ's body's substance? It is supposed to be of human substance, yet here it displays a trait better assigned to divinity, that of omnipresence. Christ's human body, it turns out, is NOT "exactly the same as ours", as I don't think CrimsonCatholic has ever been at two or more places at once. I know I haven't, much as I'd like to be; I could get a lot more accomplished!

Humor and sarcasm aside, Alan still does not see that the Divine Nature of Christ can and did affect His Human Nature, and even that of St. Peter!
And the situation seems to be even worse than that. Take a look at this from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
On the contrary, He continues His Eucharistic Presence even in the consecrated Hosts and particles that remain on the or in the ciborium after the distribution of Holy Communion.
Thus the red candle/light that one often sees perpetually lit on the altar of a Roman church - one or more transubstantiated hosts are still there. The real and substantial body of Jesus Christ is enclosed there. In many hundreds or thousands of churches across the world, simultaneously.

I'm not sure why Alan says this is "worse," as it's just the same thing he's already brought up.
So, taking the doctrine that CrimsonCatholic has expressed and applying it consistently across the board, we run into a serious snag in the doctrine of the Eucharist. It would seem that, if transubstantiation is true, then the RC position leads to a denial of the true human nature of Christ, because the substantial, real human body of Christ is simultaneously in thousands of different places, thus applying a divine trait to Christ's human nature. Not Chalcedonian at all, then; more like Monophysite.

The real problem here is not the Catholic Faith - it is Alan's LACK OF FAITH.  We believe, through a great Mystery of Faith that Jesus is able and has accomplished that which He said and has enabled us to fulfill that which He has commanded of us - namely to eat His body and drink His blood.  We cannot by science or nature fully explain this miracle - for that's exactly what it is!  It's a miracle!  This miracle happens at every valid Mass throughout the world.  Catholics have faith that Jesus IS able and does do this, Alan lacks the faith necessary to accept this - may God have mercy on his soul and grant him this faith.

Now to deal with his last objections from the previous thread:

Scott wrote:  I mean the Human Nature of Jesus would not have the authority to transubstantiate bread or wine

Alan responded:  Now you're arguing the backwards position. I'm arguing that you invalidate the human for the sake of the divine, not the other way around.

Besides, what does authority have to do with anything?
I am aware of what Alan's position is - but what is apparent here is that he does not consider our Faith.  He is only considering his physical understanding of things and NOT the metaphysical authority of God in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Yes, Alan's argument is Monophysite - but the Catholic Faith is not.  Again, may God grant him the faith necessary to accept His Truth.
Scott continues: based on a FALSE DEFINITION

Alan responds:  Assertion noted. Now all you need is an argument.

Well, earlier I had asked Alan to provide his definition of Monophysite, he responded quoting a Catholic source:
They all declared with one voice that Christ is mia physis, but ek duo physeon, that His Divine Nature is combined with a complete Human Nature in one hypostasis, and hence the two have become together the One Nature of that one hypostasis, howbeit without mixture or confusion or diminution. Ælurus insists that after union the properties of each nature remain unchanged; but they spoke of "the divine and human things", divina et humana, not natures; each nature remains in its natural state with its own characteristics (en idioteti te kata physin) yet not as a unity but as a part, a quality (poiotes physike), nor as a physis. All the qualities of the two natures are combined into one hypostasis synthetos and form the one nature of that one hypostasis. (Source)
To which I responded:
So Alan, how about continuing to the very next sentence in that source?
So far there is no heresy in intention, but only a wrong definition: that one hypostasis can have only one nature.

So the definition you are allegedly abiding by is a FALSE definition according to Catholic teaching! Just because YOU want to see heresy in Catholicism does not mean in reality it exists.
Heresy exists in what someone believes and/or professes to believe.  Heresy does NOT exist in what someone else perceives another to believe.  For example, if I were to agree with Alan's definition and say, "yes, Catholicism is Monophysite, but I'm remaining a Catholic," then I would be admitting to the heresy AND embracing it!  However, it is NOT the Catholic Faith that Alan posits!  He posits an incomplete definition of Monophysite and the applies it falsely to Catholics who do not consent to his flawed (and incomplete) definition.  Alan's usage is flawed because he denies the fact that Catholicism teaches through the Hypostatic Union that the Two Natures of Christ remain.  Regardless of Alan's rationalizations to attempt to limit OUR FAITH to only one nature (Monophysite).  In short, Alan has build up a rather elaborate straw man argument - and then knocks down the false argument in triumphalist fashion.

17 comments:

  1. though the Human Nature of Christ is exactly like ours, it is also inseparable from the Divine Nature.

    I didn't miss that at all. I simply don't see how your position isn't monophysite, and I think my position keeps it all in its correct balance.



    Alan seems to forget that the Divine Nature of Christ affected His Human Nature too, especially where He walked on water

    Or maybe it affected the water instead of His body.
    Already answered here and here. I encourage you to stay up to date.



    Jesus is affecting St. Peter's human nature!

    Or the water. Maybe it's a miracle.


    The rest of John 6 is the Eucharistic treatise wherein Jesus commands, multiple times, that we are to eat His body and drink His blood or we have no life in us!

    Or He's explaining predestination and belief, as He explains what it means to eat and drink in v 35 and then the bookend in v 63, especially since no one would've had any idea what He meant if He'd been discussing an ordinance He'd yet to institute.


    but then He also limits the Divine Nature of Christ the ability to multi-locate His body.

    So far, no argument that He ever did this, or could.
    I'm not necessarily limiting His *ability*; I'm saying that it's monophysite to say He did.


    In later responses Alan asks "Was Jesus ever in multiple locations at one time as recorded by Scripture?" To which I have provided the scenario of the Centurion who sought Jesus' help for his dying servant. Jesus did not go with him, yet knew exactly who this servant was and healed him that very hour (see Luke 7:1-10).

    1) No, that's the ONLY question I'm asking.
    2) Here Jesus is multilocational...how? Who ever denied Christ is omniscient and omnipotent? I still don't think you even understand the argument or its implications, and your failure to even deal with it is evidence of that.

    I really hope you start to deal with the actual arguments raised. It'd stop wasting everyone's time.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  2. >> sw: though the Human Nature of
    >> Christ is exactly like ours, it
    >> is also inseparable from the
    >> Divine Nature.
    >
    > AR: I didn't miss that at all. I
    > simply don't see how your
    > position isn't monophysite,

    sw: Well, fortunately our faith is not measured by your lack of faith.

    > AR: and I think my position keeps
    > it all in its correct balance.

    sw: Your thinking appears to be solely upon the physical and does not consider the metaphysical.

    sw: The fact that the Two Natures are inseparable in Christ does not equivocate them into One Nature. Your mistake is precisely this equivocation.

    >> sw: Alan seems to forget that
    >> the Divine Nature of Christ
    >> affected His Human Nature too,
    >> especially where He walked on
    >> water

    > AR: Or maybe it affected the
    > water instead of His body.

    sw: Maybe, but unlikely... St. Peter still sank into the water when his faith faltered a bit. The water remained constant - it is Jesus who is special. Why would you want to diminish our Lord for the sake of your lack of faith in the Dyophysite faith/teaching of the Catholic Church?

    > AR: Already answered here

    sw: You're not taking Mr. Hays silly "styrofoam Jesus" argument seriously, are you?

    > AR: and here.

    sw: Well, first off, I'm no longer a Lutheran and even when I was I didn't hold to this concept which Mr. Hays is answering regarding arguments from Mr. Reiss. No, MY response is in regard to the proper understanding and faith required for accepting the Hypostatic Union as taught by the Catholic Church.

    > AR: I encourage you to stay up to
    > date.

    sw: I would encourage you to let me know the links of messages you THINK answer me before you put on the sarcasm. This would save you some embarrassment. You could have asked me to look at those posts and answer them PRIOR to your sarcasm because I deny adherence to Mr. Reiss' understanding (at least as it is represented by Mr. Hays) and especially to Mr. Hays silliness.

    >> sw: Jesus is affecting St. Peter's
    >> human nature!
    >
    > AR: Or the water. Maybe it's a
    > miracle.

    sw: Oh, it's definitely a miracle no matter how you look at it - people don't naturally walk on water. So we're left with either a) Jesus is a Special Person (God) and has authority over physical things, including the persons of Himself and St. Peter - or - b) Jesus is a regular human guy and not being special at all, God externally affects the water but only beneath the feet of Jesus and St. Peter - and only for a little while under St. Peter. The latter is untenable because the water didn't change when Peter began to show fear - PETER changed. When Peter first stepped out of the boat, he saw nothing but Jesus and was confident that he could do it. When he was distracted and turned his eyes away from Jesus, even for a moment - that is when he began to sink.

    sw: More in next comment...

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  3. The fact that the Two Natures are inseparable in Christ does not equivocate them into One Nature.

    Long on assertion, short on argument.


    Maybe, but unlikely... St. Peter still sank into the water when his faith faltered a bit. The water remained constant

    Oh, so it's more likely that Peter somehow leaked divine attributes when he began to sink in the water? Come on.
    You have no evidence that "the water remained constant" any more than you have that he received some divine attribute of weightlessness, as if that were a divine attribute to begin with (divinity doesn't involve matter in its essence anyway - God, a divine being, creates matter). Your whole idea is badly flawed.


    a) Jesus is a Special Person (God) and has authority over physical things, including the persons of Himself and St. Peter

    I take (a), and that means He works miracles. For example, He works miracles ON WATER.


    More in next comment

    Hopefully some substance.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Part 2...
    >> sw: The rest of John 6 is the
    >> Eucharistic treatise wherein
    >> Jesus commands, multiple times,
    >> that we are to eat His body and
    >> drink His blood or we have no
    >> life in us!
    >
    > AR: Or He's explaining
    > predestination and belief, as He
    > explains what it means to eat and
    > drink in v 35 and then the
    > bookend in v 63,

    sw: yada, yada, yada... We've all heard the attempts to belittle what Jesus COMMANDS and REPEATEDLY SO in John 6 about eating His body and drinking His blood... The attempts to turn John 6 into a predestination discussion is untenable (I've already done that debate with James White) and the "eating is believing" analogy doesn't work - because if that were so, then why did Jesus let so many of His "disciples" turn and walk with Him no more? They took Him literally - as do Catholics - but the difference is, they didn't have the FAITH to accept Jesus at His Word. Your position is, in reality, no different than those who turned and walked away. You have to minimize Jesus' Word and impute presupposed conclusions instead of just accepting what He, as I said before REPEATEDLY COMMANDS! But we're digressing. THIS discussion was not about John 6 and what Jesus meant, no THIS discussion is about whether or not Jesus (at the Last Supper) declared mere bread to become His body and regular wine to become His blood. The similarity is, there again we accept Him at His Word and you explain it away into minimized symbolism.

    > AR: especially since no one
    > would've had any idea what He
    > meant if He'd been discussing an
    > ordinance He'd yet to institute.

    sw: The timing of John 6 compared to the actual institution of the Eucharist is not relative to this debate. What IS relative is He said "Do this" and WE DO IT!

    >> sw: but then He also limits the
    >> Divine Nature of Christ the
    >> ability to multi-locate His
    >> body.
    >
    > AR: So far, no argument that He
    > ever did this, or could.
    > I'm not necessarily limiting His
    > *ability*;

    sw: You may not "necessarily" be limiting Him - but in "reality" you are.

    (breaking here)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Part 3...
    > AR: I'm saying that it's
    > monophysite to say He did.

    sw: OK, yes - it is Monophysite to say one of His Natures is "over" the other. Catholics don't put one Nature over the other - BOTH COEXIST! One does not diminish the other.

    >> sw: In later responses Alan asks
    >> "Was Jesus ever in multiple
    >> locations at one time as
    >> recorded by Scripture?" To which
    >> I have provided the scenario of
    >> the Centurion who sought Jesus'
    >> help for his dying servant.
    >> Jesus did not go with him, yet
    >> knew exactly who this servant
    >> was and healed him that very
    >> hour (see Luke 7:1-10).
    >
    > AR: 1) No, that's the ONLY
    > question I'm asking.

    sw: Oh? You also asked:
    "What about walking on water ascribes a divine attribute to humanity?" You also asked several other questions which I don't need to delineate here and now, ONE other question proves your statement to be false.

    > AR: 2) Here Jesus is
    > multilocational...how?

    sw: It's not too difficult to figure it out, Alan. He's in one place with the Centurion, and is healing his servant at the same time in another place.

    > AR: Who ever denied Christ is
    > omniscient and omnipotent?

    sw: What's this? Another question?!

    sw: Simply stated, THAT is the affirmation that Catholicism is NOT Monophysite! We AFFIRM that Jesus Christ IS Omniscient and Omnipotent! That's part of His Divine Nature - which is INSEPARABLE from His Human Nature. Please do not continue to make the mistake of equivocating "inseparable" with "one nature."

    sw: It is not I who is demonstrating a lack of understanding and faith in the Hypostatic Union of the two distinct Natures of Christ.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  6. >> sw: The fact that the Two
    >> Natures are inseparable in
    >> Christ does not equivocate them
    >> into One Nature.
    >
    > AR: Long on assertion, short on
    > argument.

    sw: Arguments do not have to be long to be valid. Your equivocation is NOT part of OUR confession and faith! YOU are trying to impute things to US simply for the sake of your flawed argumentation. Bad form Alan, bad form.

    >> sw: Maybe, but unlikely... St.
    >> Peter still sank into the water
    >> when his faith faltered a bit.
    >> The water remained constant
    >
    > Oh, so it's more likely that
    > Peter somehow leaked divine
    > attributes when he began to sink
    > in the water? Come on.

    sw: I didn't say St. Peter HAD divine attributes! JESUS was performing the miracle so long as Peter had FAITH in Him! As soon as St. Peter's FAITH faltered, he began to sink. When Jesus healed someone and then said, "Thy faith has made thee well..." did the person really heal themselves, or through their FAITH Jesus worked a miracle in them? You're setting a precedence of a house of cards here, Alan.

    > AR: You have no evidence that
    > "the water remained constant" any
    > more than you have that he
    > received some divine attribute of
    > weightlessness, as if that were a
    > divine attribute to begin with
    > (divinity doesn't involve matter
    > in its essence anyway - God, a
    > divine being, creates matter).

    sw: 1) I didn't say St. Peter received divine attributes. Straw man.

    sw: 2) I didn't say weightlessness was a divine attribute. Straw man.

    sw: What my argument IS, is that God has authority over the physical. Jesus IS God at the SAME TIME He's Man.

    > AR:Your whole idea is badly flawed.

    sw: Long on assertion, short on valid substance to support your assertion.

    >> sw: a) Jesus is a Special Person
    >> (God) and has authority over
    >> physical things, including the
    >> persons of Himself and St. Peter
    >
    > I take (a), and that means He
    > works miracles. For example, He
    > works miracles ON WATER.

    sw: YES! ON WATER and ON ST. PETER and even ON HIMSELF! Perhaps we are making progress here!

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  7. I said: The attempts to turn John 6 into a predestination discussion is untenable (I've already done that debate with James White).

    I did not intend that to be so dismissive - I'll debate you on that matter too (I've gotten better at this one too since my debate with White) - but that's really a different topic than the one we're discussing in this thread. THIS thread is about Transubstantiation and whether or not Jesus is multi-locational first when He declared "This IS My body" and then when His followers have obeyed His command to "Do this..." and they DO - is He Really Present whenever and where ever this takes place? So, if you want THIS debate on predestination in John 6 - just say so - you can start with an opening statement on your blog, I'll respond accordingly on my blog. Would you like a specific format for such a debate or just a tit-for-tat round-robin blog dialog?

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  8. what Jesus COMMANDS and REPEATEDLY SO in John 6

    Given that His commands mean, as He pointed out specifically in v 35, to believe in Him and to come to Him, I've got that one covered by His grace.


    They took Him literally

    No, if you took Him literally, then you'd take His interpretation, that eating=believing literally.



    the difference is, they didn't have the FAITH to accept Jesus at His Word.

    And why is that?
    Maybe b/c of sthg Jesus discusses heavily in that psg? Like predestination? vv 44-45?


    You have to minimize Jesus' Word and impute presupposed conclusions instead of just accepting what He, as I said before REPEATEDLY COMMANDS!

    So the disciples were monophysite. OK. From your lips, man.


    You may not "necessarily" be limiting Him - but in "reality" you are.

    So it's limiting His ability to say He's not what He's not, eh?
    This is a silly thing to say. Suppose someone ripped you for saying that God CAN'T in fact make Himself a Quadernity, or that He CAN'T make it that He never existed before. Alluvasudden you're in the same position as you're criticising. We've been over this before; why didn't you learn from it?


    OK, yes - it is Monophysite to say one of His Natures is "over" the other.

    And that's the point - having Christ's body in a zillion places at once is not human at all, but divine.


    He's in one place with the Centurion, and is healing his servant at the same time in another place.

    Or He's in one place with the centurion and is miraculously by extension healing his servant.
    His human body was in one place. But He can do anything anywhere, but not BE anywhere. He's a person with a human nature, and humans can't be two places at once. Central point. Again.


    YOU are trying to impute things to US simply for the sake of your flawed argumentation.

    I'm shaking my head here. You still don't get it, and it's getting to the point of being sadly pathetic. If you don't understand what I'm getting at, just disengage.


    I didn't say St. Peter HAD divine attributes!

    Sigh. I was showing you the ridiculousness of saying that Christ's walking on the water means necessarily that He was exhibiting a divine attribute in His resisting water's surface tension by pointing out that Peter does not have divine attributes. Christ did a miracle ON THE WATER. It's not like He was affecting His human body by making it really light or something. Not changing His human nature.


    Jesus IS God at the SAME TIME He's Man.

    And He's man at the same time He's God. So He can be in ONE PLACE AT ONE TIME.


    if you want THIS debate on predestination in John 6 - just say so

    You still don't even understand my point in this post on monophysitism, despite thousands of words from me correcting you, and you're proposing a formal debate? Don't think so. Thanks for the invitation though.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  9. >> sw: if you want THIS debate on
    >> predestination in John 6 - just
    >> say so

    >
    > AR: You still don't even understand
    > my point in this post on
    > monophysitism, despite thousands
    > of words from me correcting you,

    sw: Oh, I understand that you're a Monophysite just fine. You've made that point crystal clear. The Divinity of Jesus Christ is limited by the Humanity of Jesus Christ. YOU are the one who posits the Monophysite heresy in putting the God/Man only in one place at a time. You've "corrected" me on nothing. You just don't understand the Monophysite corner you've backed yourself into.

    > AR: and you're proposing a formal
    > debate? Don't think so. Thanks
    > for the invitation though.

    sw: Well, I didn't think you'd cower away from a direct challenge, but I guess I was wrong.

    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  10. Scott,

    Greetings.

    I think you might be missing the boat in your replies to Rhology. I suspect that subconsciously you know where to argue, but I don't see it emerging into your conscious arguments. I think that Matthew Bellisario is in the same situation.

    From the get-go, Rhology is stating that Human Nature is equivalent to having a physical body of the genus and species Homo Sapiens. He then details certain limitations which pertain to that genus-species of animal. Everyone following has treated that assertion as fact. But does this premise withstand scrutiny?

    Rhology believes that he is saved by the Grace of Our Lord. I certainly hope and pray that he is counted among those saints who persevere -- as I hope and pray that for you and myself. Let's assume that he does indeed persevere. When he dies, Rhology believes that he will enter the Heavenly Kingdom -- without his Homo Sapiens body. After the Final Judgment, he will receive a glorified, ressurected body. But for a time, he will be a soul without a body.

    Rhology's assertion requires that he believe that he will not have a Human Nature while in Heaven. He cannot claim that his nature will be glorified so that it is restored to the state of Human Nature found in Adam prior to The Fall. After all, Adam had a Homo Sapiens body, and that's a requirement under Rholoygy's assertion. So what nature does Rhology assume in Heaven? Does he gain a deified nature? This sounds suspiciously like Mormon theology. Or does he assume absolutely no nature, but is in blissful inexistence? Which sounds very Hindu.

    It boils down to a question of what truly comprises Human Nature. Rhology needs to answer this question while avoiding the inconsistencies listed above. In other words, his premise needs refinement.

    And to be honest, this is not an easy question to answer. For example, St Augustine saw it as man was a rational soul which used a mortal and earthly body. This view sees soul and body as two separate "substances" which Augustine thought of as in union with each other (as opposed to a man being the sum of body and soul which would make him two separate persons if they are separate substances). But this formulation is still subject to my objection above; namely, the individual can exist as a soul, separate from the body, and still be of Human Nature. Because of this fact, the body cannot be considered a "substance" which creates Human Nature. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910 summarizes this by saying that the body "exists only as determined by a form; and if that form is not a human soul, then the 'body' is not a human body." (Article on Man, subsection "The Nature of Man")

    This is the aspect to which Bellisario's quotations from St Thomas Aquinas come into play. When Aquinas discusses "dimensions" of the bread and wine, he is seeing the "form of a human soul" (Christ's Human Nature) as well as Jesus' divine nature in the matter of bread and wine. This means that the bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ. Prior to the "form of a human soul" they were not a body, but mere bread and wine. After the "form" they are body and blood. Matthew's difficulty was that while he seemed to realize Rhology's error in what constitutes Human Nature, he did not challenge Rhology on that assertion. Using Aquinas only works after that challenge has been made.

    So the Catholic view is not monophysite. We could not proclaim the Eucharist as body and blood unless the Human Nature of the Son was present in union with His divine nature. However, a belief that the Real Presence in the Eucharist is spiritual only suggests that only the divine nature is present. This is a separation of Jesus' natures and, at best, borders on other heresies such as nestorianism.

    In His Name,
    Jamie

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  11. Thank you Jamie! Well put and I accept the constructive criticism.

    I think Alan/Rho has abandoned the debate now - for even if I was not as focused on his faulty premise as you - he was getting cornered into his own version of monophysitism so I don't expect him to come back to this debate.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  12. Actually, I have just had a very busy week and was sick and then outta town, so I didn't have a chance to continue for quite some time. Plus I was writing S School lesson and finishing my Sola Scriptura debate. And finally, you weren't saying anything of value worth responding to.

    Jamie's response itself misses the boat, b/c he forgets how ROME HERSELF has framed the issue. ROME, not I, says that Christ's BODY is REALLY AND SUBSTANTIALLY PRESENT in the Eucharist. Christ's BODY is in a zillion places simultaneously.
    So while Jamie is not 100% wrong, he's forgotten to actually defend Rome and to respond to something I'm not really saying.

    Thanks!

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well, whereas Alan has not, apparently, totally given up his argument - he still has been, IMHO, backed into a corner. His position is actually the Monophysite position! His position asserts that Jesus' body cannot be in multiple locations at once - which I would agree with him IF I were a Monophysite! Since I am NOT a Monophysite and I affirm wholeheartedly that Jesus has TWO NATURES and while He is fully human, He's also fully God! God can do what we humanly cannot fully understand or explain. That is why true Christianity is a religion of FAITH and NOT one of PROOF. If we could prove every Mystery of Faith, then there would be NO FAITH! There would not be a concept of "believing" for it would become a matter of "knowing."

    We also should take note of Alan's intent in writing his original article - he intended upon stirring up anger and he makes that statement outright in his "index" of this discussion. What kind of "Christian" goes around trying to stir up "anger?" It seems Alan needs to do some soul-searching here.

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  14. Since I am NOT a Monophysite and I affirm wholeheartedly that Jesus has TWO NATURES and while He is fully human, He's also fully God! God can do what we humanly cannot fully understand or explain.

    And that's the thing - your Eucharistic theology leads you to monophysitism b/c you have effectively dehumanised Christ. He's just God to you. You can SAY that you also hold that He's a man all day long, but the 'man' He is in your theology does not resemble any other man who's ever lived. It's bizarre that you'd say that MY position is monophysite, given that I've consistently been saying that Christ is in one place at one time b/c He's ONE PERSON and that ONE PERSON has a HUMAN nature as well as a divine nature. I'm sorry you can't see that, but I didn't expect you to take a hard honest look at your Eucharistic theology anyway. I've noticed you Romanists generally like it way too much for reasons other than biblical/theological ones.

    Also, expecting that sthg will provoke anger is not the same as intending it. Your exegesis could use some work.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  15. > AR: And that's the thing - your
    > Eucharistic theology leads you to
    > monophysitism b/c you have
    > effectively dehumanised Christ.
    > He's just God to you.

    sw: No, He's not "just God" to me. And just because you continue to insist upon that misrepresentation of my faith does not make it so. By the same token your argumentation de-divinizes Jesus because in your paradigm God is not capable of affecting the physical in such a way as to multi-locate Himself.

    > AR: You can SAY that you also
    > hold that He's a man all day
    > long, but the 'man' He is in your
    > theology does not resemble any
    > other man who's ever lived.

    sw: He's not like any other man who ever lived! He's also GOD! What He may do with His physical body does NOT affect His NATURE. If a man loses a finger or even a leg, is his "NATURE" any less human? Things which happen to the physical body do not have any bearing upon the human NATURE of the body. THAT is where your argumentation fails because you are confusing NATURE with PHYSICALITY.

    > AR: It's bizarre that you'd say
    > that MY position is monophysite,
    > given that I've consistently been
    > saying that Christ is in one
    > place at one time b/c He's ONE
    > PERSON and that ONE PERSON has a
    > HUMAN nature as well as a divine
    > nature.

    sw: PERSONHOOD and NATURE are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS! You and I are of the same NATURE - but we're NOT the same PERSON. When you stop confusing the two, perhaps you will begin to understand the fatal flaws of your argument.

    > AR: I'm sorry you can't see that,

    sw: I am not the one limiting God and confusing NATURE with PERSON here.

    > AR: but I didn't expect you to
    > take a hard honest look at your
    > Eucharistic theology anyway.

    sw: Oh, so now I'm dishonest. Well, Alan (without a last name) I am not the one hiding his identity here. I am not the one who has mixed the theological and physiological concepts here to make an invalid argument and refuses to back down even when his arguments are proven lacking if not absolutely false.

    > AR: I've noticed you Romanists

    sw: I've noticed that you expected "anger" - and got none from me, but it is you who resorts to the name-calling.

    > AR: ...generally like it way too
    > much for reasons other than
    > biblical/theological ones.

    sw: Yet it is us Catholics who accept the Bible for what it says when it records Jesus Himself saying, "This IS My body..." It is not us who question Jesus/God speaking here and miraculously giving us His body under the form/accidents of bread. It is not the Catholic here who lacks FAITH, it is those who DENY that Jesus MEANT what He SAID!

    > AR: Also, expecting that sthg
    > will provoke anger is not the
    > same as intending it. Your
    > exegesis could use some work.

    sw: To the contrary, to expect something and do it anyway equates to intent. There's nothing wrong with MY exegesis!

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

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  16. Well, Alan (without a last name) I am not the one hiding his identity here.

    That's quite the non sequitur!
    Anyway, I have plenty of reason not to make my identity easily obtainable. Just FYI. Don't judge, and all that.


    To the contrary, to expect something and do it anyway equates to intent.

    Gotcha. So...God expected (since He can see the future) that man would sin, and created man anyway. Hmm...

    Wrt the question of monophysitism, I don't see alot of evidence you even get the problem you have on your hands, so I'll leave all that here. Thanks!

    Peace,
    Rhology

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  17. >> sw: To the contrary, to
    >> expect something and do it
    >> anyway equates to intent.

    >
    > AR: Gotcha. So...God expected
    > (since He can see the future)
    > that man would sin, and created
    > man anyway. Hmm...


    sw: So, you're equivocating the Omniscience of God to man's expectation/intent. "Hmm..." is right. Alan, if YOU expect an outcome and then go forward with it anyway, then YOU intended to produce the outcome you expected. Please don't try to compare yourself or the intentions of ANY man to God. Talk about a non-sequitur!

    > AR: Wrt the question of
    > monophysitism, I don't see alot
    > of evidence you even get the
    > problem you have on your hands,


    sw: I have no problem on my hands. Your imputation of Monophysitism to Transubstantiation has been proven faulty, you just won't admit to it. Too much pride it seems. The very FACT that we're professing His Human Nature AND His Divine Nature are NECESSARY for the Mystery of Faith we refer to as Transubstantiation denies your faulty premise. Again, I pray that God gives you the faith necessary to accept His truth and softens your heart so that it is possible to accept His truth.

    > AR: so I'll leave all that
    > here. Thanks!


    sw: Understood, when you can't answer to the basic premise of FAITH here, and INSIST upon YOUR Monophysite view, then you run back to your corner. You're welcome, but I repeat my prayer request that God grant you the softness of heart and the faith necessary to accept Him and His truth.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete

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